Herland, Chapter One, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman c. 1900
Charlotte Perkins Gilman c. 1900

I was not acquainted with the author, Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman, before I read this chapter. I discovered that she had definite ideas about the superiority of women, and argued that humans had the sex roles backward. She pointed out that in other species, the females’ superior sense of judgment, and the males’ eagerness to please, caused a far more successful social structure. She applied these principles in this work of fiction.

As I prepared to read this chapter, the voices of two characters from the movie The Marrying Man came to mind: Charley/Alec Baldwin as Terry, and Phil/Paul Reiser as Van. Both stories are about a few guys who enjoy hanging out together, and their challenging relationships with the women who attract them.

Herland, Chapter One, read by Grace Buchanan for LibriVox.


This chapter was included in the LibriVox First Chapter Collection 6. It is the 7th track.

Read the entire book “Herland” at Project Gutenberg.

Listen to all the work that I’ve done for LibriVox.

This is a LibriVox recording. All LIbriVox recordings are in the public domain. For more information, or to volunteer, please visit: LibriVox.org.

Image credit:
Charlotte Perkins Gilman c. 1900,
C.F. Lummis (Original copyright holder, presumably photographer),
Restoration by Adam Cuerden / Public domain

Anthem, Chapter One, Ayn Rand

Anthem Book Cover of first edition
Cover of the first edition of Anthem, by Ayn Rand

As I prepared to record this chapter, reading this book transported me back to when I was in college. I remembered the place on the library shelf where I found the Ayn Rand books. I sprawled on the clean thin-carpeted floor pondering the ideas in the quiet. The sun shone brightly through the glass wall at the end of the aisle, near where Ayn’s books lined up. Ayn inspired me to think about fairness, justice, and the roles of government and taxation.

Ayn Rand’s world of Socialism was very different from what I valued about my experience of Democratic Socialism. I had a strong community where everyone had a valued perspective and a vote on every matter. We shared a sense of Oneness. But this book is Chilling. This story sets me on edge: uniformity, dictatorship, regimentation…

I cherish the compassion, creativity, self expression… that my community fostered when I was growing up, and which I continue to foster in myself and others.

Anthem, Chapter One, read by Grace Buchanan.

Read the entire book at Project Gutenberg.
LIsten to all the work that I’ve done for LibriVox.
This is a LibriVox recording. All LibriVox recordings are in the public domain. For more information, or to volunteer, please visit LIbriVox.org.

Image credit:
Anthem Book Cover of first edition.
The original uploader was GrahamHardy at English Wikipedia.
Public domain

Chapter One of Anthem is the second track of the LibriVox Chapter One Collection 6 at Internet Archive.

Anne of Green Gables, Chapter One, by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Mrs. Rachel Is Surprised, from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery
Mrs. Rachel Lynde Is Surprised, from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery

One of my blog’s followers (Patti of Wednesdays child) asked me to record this chapter and share it here. I recall that this title was a popular book, movie and TV show, but I wasn’t familiar with the story and characters at all. Patti said that her Mom gave it to her when she was a girl, and told her that she HAD to read it because Anne was just like her. She recalls that it was “the very first book that made me cry.” Since then, she read children’s stories for her local CBC radio station for about 10 years as a volunteer for a local literacy group. An excerpt from Anne of Green Gables was her first reading for them.

Thank you Patti for introducing me to this book. I had a great time becoming acquainted with Mrs. Rachel and Marilla.

I noticed that Mrs. Rachel symbolically and literally puts herself in the sunshine, while Marilla screens herself from it. Mrs. Rachel looks about to see what her neighbors are up to. She expresses her opinion, and spreads any news; while Marilla is reclusive, perhaps as a screen against feeling overwhelmingly influenced by others. However, both women are described as being excellent housekeepers, attentive to their environments, indoors and out, so they both apparently have ample light to see what’s important to them.

Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 1. Read by Grace Buchanan, for LibriVox.
This chapter was included in the LibriVox First Chapter Collection 6. It is the first track.


Read the entire book “Anne of Green Gables” at Project Gutenberg.

Listen to all the work that I’ve done for LibriVox.

This is a LibriVox recording. All LIbriVox recordings are in the public domain. For more information, or to volunteer, please visit: LibriVox.org.

Let me know if you would like me to record a short story, poem, or the first chapter of a book for you.

Image credit:
Illustration by Anonymous
Licensed under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND/3.0) License. 

“The Flu”: A Brief History, by A. Mouritz

We’ve been here before. Medical historians are familiar with pandemics like our current one.

I find this book comforting as I read about the familiar symptoms of cough and fever and lung ailments. It puts our latest pandemic into perspective as I compare my state’s, country’s, and planet’s recent number of daily and total deaths with those of past pandemics.

The author’s ideas about causes, remedies, and prevention are old fashioned but food for thought as we figure out how to deal with the illness that is overwhelming us now.

Excerpt read by Grace Buchanan

Listen to me read the entire book for LibriVox at Internet Archive. Run time: 1 hour 29 minutes.


Read the entire book at Project Gutenberg .

Listen to all the work I’ve done for LibriVox.

This is a LibriVox recording. All LibriVox recordings are in the public domain in the USA. For more information, or to volunteer, please visit: librivox.org.

Image credits:
1918-1920 Spanish Flu Pandemic, Walter Reed Hospital Flu Ward,
Photographer: Harris & Ewing,
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C., USA,
Public domain.

1921 “The Flu” book cover,
Repository: Surgeon General’s Library at the U.S. National Library of Medicine,
Public Domain.

1921 “The Flu” title page,
Repository: Surgeon General’s Library at the U.S. National Library of Medicine,
Public Domain.

I dedicate this recording to my friend Liz in New York City who is recovering from the Coronavirus, and to all who have been touched by this pandemic.